LMDE has stopped working [sort of SOLVED]

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LMDE has stopped working [sort of SOLVED]

Postby Tony.B on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:11 pm

Help! My LMDE has broken.
Everything was behaving quite normally & I was really pleased with my superfast computer.
Until last night.

    1) Switched on laptop
    2) Everything seemed to be starting up normally
    3) Got the blue Debian screen
    4) Hit enter to confirm my computer's details
    5) Entered my password and hit enter
    6) And............. Nothing, nil, nada, rien, geen, zilch, zero. It won't go any further.

I've switched off & tried again several times, but always get the same result; so I'm using LM9 to post this.

Please has anyone any ideas.
Thanks,
Tony
Last edited by Tony.B on Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby nevius on Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:53 pm

Some more information would be helpful.

What are your laptop's specs (what type of graphics card does it have)?
Are you able to boot into the recovery console?
Did you update, install some new packages, etc immediately before this problem occured?
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:28 am

nevius wrote:Some more information would be helpful.

What are your laptop's specs (what type of graphics card does it have)?
Are you able to boot into the recovery console?
Did you update, install some new packages, etc immediately before this problem occured?
Thank you, nevius for your prompt response.

I'm afraid I'm not the brightest star in the sky when in comes to this stuff, so please be patient.

    The laptop is an Acer Aspire 5315. I'm no good at understanding specifications, but the label says it's got "80GB HDD" - is this what you mean?
    I don't know about a graphics card, there's nothing mentioned on the label. Perhaps it doesn't have one.
    I tried starting up in Recovery Mode, but I got exactly the same result.
    Yes, the previous time I was on my computer, I updated everything.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby ej64 on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:50 am

go to a console (Strg+Alt+F1), login and read the logs
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:37 pm

ej64 wrote:go to a console (Strg+Alt+F1), login and read the logs

Oh dear. I'm sure you're going to think I'm terribly dense. I don't have a button marked Strg on my laptop.
I tried Ctrl+Alt+F1 which asked me for my password and then refused to recognise it, even though I entered it correctly several times - I had to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to get out of it.

But thanks for trying to help. Is there anything else I can do? I'm a bit upset at losing LMDE because I was really enjoying it and had regarded it as my primary Operating System (which means, of course, that I hadn't made back-ups of my important stuff. Silly me)
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby kbkatz1 on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:50 pm

Don't get too worried, just be patient. I believe this can be fixed by using the LiveDVD. Unfortunately I don't have enough knowledge to assist you, I'm sure others reading this post will.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:18 pm

kbkatz1 wrote:Don't get too worried, just be patient. I believe this can be fixed by using the LiveDVD. Unfortunately I don't have enough knowledge to assist you, I'm sure others reading this post will.

Thanks for the reassurance, kbkatz1.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby kbkatz1 on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:41 pm

you could also try XChat from the LiveDVD.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:57 pm

kbkatz1 wrote:you could also try XChat from the LiveDVD.

Not having heard of Xchat before, I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out that it's an Internet Relay Chat client. This didn't really help me, so I looked up Internet Relay Chat client and I discovered it has something to do with text messaging.

I can't see how that has any bearing on my problem.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby kbkatz1 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:15 am

You can run XChat from the LiveDVD, menu > Internet > XChat IRC. it will open an Internet connection where you will be able to describe your problem (real time - online) and get answers on the spot.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:29 am

kbkatz1 wrote:You can run XChat from the LiveDVD, menu > Internet > XChat IRC. it will open an Internet connection where you will be able to describe your problem (real time - online) and get answers on the spot.

Oh. Now I understand. Thanks for that idea, kbkatz1. I'll bear that in mind if I don't get help on this forum.

But everybody here seems quite friendly :)
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby ej64 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:40 am

Seems you have spoiled or forgotten your password.

You can use a live CD and the chroot method to set your password again: Reset Your Ubuntu Password Easily from the Live CD. This should work with your LMDE CD, too.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:34 pm

Thank you, ej64, for taking the time & trouble to respond:
ej64 wrote:Seems you have spoiled or forgotten your password.

Well, although I've now got grey hair & I notice I've developed a tendency to repeat myself, I certainly HAVEN'T forgotten my password.
Well, although I've now got grey hair & I notice I've developed a tendency to repeat myself, I certainly HAVEN'T forgotten my password.

But, on the assumption that my stupid laptop has forgotten it, I followed all the instructions contained in Reset Your Ubuntu Password Easily from the Live CD.

The first thing I noticed was that I didn't get any option to "Try without any changes to your computer". So I clicked on "Install Linux Mint" and got as far as installing language and timezone before I realised I was probably about to completely overwrite my existing LMDE.
So I then opened Terminal and proceeded to enter all the sudo codes as per instructions.

Then I shut down and restarted: No difference.
I get as far as the blue Debian screen, hit enter to confirm my login, type password & enter again, and....... nothing. The password request disappears but the blue screen remains.

The only button that has any effect seems to be the power button, which shuts the laptop down immediately.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby azathoth on Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:45 pm

Hi Tony,
First I'll mention the obvious. Sounds like you have a pretty b0rked install.
Secondly, is there any particular reason you haven't reinstalled yet? A person can spend hours on hit and miss or reinstall the system which usually takes about 20 min. which will give you a nice, clean, stable system.
Judging from the posts here, I am afraid you are kicking a dead horse.
Now as I understand this happened after a major update, this is not unheard of. It is very easy to nuke a Debian install if you don't follow some basic rules which should be stressed a bit more on this board, they do so in the Debian forums and they know better than anybody else since it's their system. They do not make their recommendations to be arbitrary, they have a great deal of experience. Remember this is Debian it is not Ubuntu or mainstream Mint.
That being said, here is the proper way to do a major upgrade of a Debian system adapted to Mint. I will try to explain the whys briefly.
1. After you have completed a clean install and rebooted, create a root password.
Code: Select all
#sudo passwd root

when prompted
#your password
#your new root password
#your new root password(again)

2. Log out. While at the gdm screen press ctrl + alt + F1. This will bring you to a cli login prompt. Login as root.

3. Go to runlevel 3
Code: Select all
#init 3

(you may have to press <enter> once.)
this will completely unload the graphical environment's modules. this makes a major upgrade much, much safer.

4. refresh the apt cache.
Code: Select all
#apt-get update


5. start the update.
Code: Select all
#apt-get dist-upgrade

after everything downloads and the upgrades commence take note of any warnings. the information can prove invaluable if anything goes wrong.

6.after the update completes.
Code: Select all
#apt-get clean


7. reboot
Code: Select all
#reboot


Now hopefully this will take you to a nice clean, freshly updated system.

Some "do nots," NEVER use Ubuntu repos, avoid using graphical package managers if there is any danger of it trying to overwrite loaded modules -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's a crap shot. When in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution. Do not mix testing and Sid repos, you might see some here doing that for selected apps but it's always a gamble.

Some "do's"

Write your password(s) down someplace. at least right at first. especially if you use strong passwords as they can be the devil to remember. (btw, I'm not suggesting that was the case here but it's still wise, especially if you use complex passwords.)Read the release notes, Clem's blogs about LMDE and the Debian documentation.
Understand the skill set required to properly maintain a Debian system. Read and learn. This ain't Ubuntu, it's a development branch of Debian. Because Clem has provided some handy tools, a pretty default interface and a really slick installer and also because things are usually pretty trouble free it's easy to lapse into that mindset.
If you treat your system right, it will be with you for a very long time and as you learn how to do things you will find it provides more power and freedom than Ubuntu or Ubuntu respins.

Good luck.
Last edited by azathoth on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby mads on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:12 pm

Ok, I found this info here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=690760&mode=linear, and have tried to make it shorter.
"...
1b) If you are NOT in the GUI, do CTRL+ALT+F1 to get to a tty, and login with your username and password. Then run
Code: Select all
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

You will be asked a bunch of questions about your hardware, do your best to answer.
..."
or follow this:
Click OK and choose "Reconfigure graphics", click OK and choose "Use default (generic) configuration". Restart X (or reboot your computer)
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:51 am

azathoth wrote:Hi Tony,
First I'll mention the obvious. Sounds like you have a pretty b0rked install.
Secondly, is there any particular reason you haven't reinstalled yet?

Yes. The reason I haven't yet done a fresh installation is that I'm a silly old git; I had neglected to make regular back-ups and I would prefer not to have lost my last week's work :(
I've got to rush off but I'll return to this forum this evening. Thanks so much for your observations.
Cheers
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby azathoth on Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:13 am

Tony.B wrote:
azathoth wrote:Hi Tony,
First I'll mention the obvious. Sounds like you have a pretty b0rked install.
Secondly, is there any particular reason you haven't reinstalled yet?

Yes. The reason I haven't yet done a fresh installation is that I'm a silly old git; I had neglected to make regular back-ups and I would prefer not to have lost my last week's work :(
I've got to rush off but I'll return to this forum this evening. Thanks so much for your observations.
Cheers

Understandable. I can give you this much hope there. If you know the document locations it would be possible to save them with the LiveCD.
(I am assuming you have no other OSs installed on the machine in question - if you did, it would be easier still. But the LiveCD will work fine.)
You would simply need to mount the affected partition and then email them to yourself as attachments using the LiveCD and any web mail service for a quick and dirty fix.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby cwsnyder on Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:50 am

Of course the other alternative to save your data from the Live CD is to copy to a thumb drive or external hard drive.

If you had more than one operating system, you could probably get your data from the other operating system and store it in that operating system's data area.
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:18 pm

azathoth wrote:... I am assuming you have no other OSs installed on the machine in question ...

cwsnyder wrote:... If you had more than one operating system, you could probably get your data from the other operating system and store it in that operating system's data area.

I have Linux Mint 9 installed on /sda1. There is only one document (.ods) I would really love to recover from LMDE, and in fact I have an earlier version of the same document on LM9, so I'm missing only a few days of edits.

However, if anyone can explain how I can get the later version back, I'd be ever so chuffed.

I fully realise it's my own fault if I've lost them though (Silly Old Git syndrome).
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Re: LMDE has stopped working

Postby Tony.B on Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:36 pm

Thank you, azathoth, for the long post about doing a completely fresh installation. I have a question on a point you raised:

azathoth wrote:Some "do nots," NEVER use Ubuntu repos, avoid using graphical package managers if there is any danger of it trying to overwrite loaded modules -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's a crap shot. When in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution. Do not mix testing and Sid repos, you might see some here doing that for selected apps but it's always a gamble.

I don't believe I've ever tried to install any packages, except those already included in the Software Manager, and then only via Synaptic. Shouldn't this keep me safe?

Thanks again for all your input on my behalf - much appreciated.
Cheers
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